Service chiefs will testify in Congress this week. House wants to hold hearing specifically on DADT.

Another big week for DADT on Capitol Hill. The Service Chiefs of the will be testifying — and the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell will be an issue:

The service chiefs are scheduled to testify separately throughout the week, with the Army’s Gen. George Casey and the Air Force’s Gen. Norton Schwartz going first on Tuesday. Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Conway, who is said to oppose changes to the policy, will testify on Wednesday.

“We believe that any implementation plan for a policy permitting gays and lesbians to serve openly in the armed forces must be carefully derived, sufficiently thorough and thoughtfully executed,” Mullen told a Senate panel last month.

The testimony of the service chiefs is considered so critical to the debate that House lawmakers have asked that they appear twice. In addition to this week’s testimony, which is supposed to focus primarily on the 2011 budget, the House Armed Services Committee wants the chiefs to return for a separate hearing dedicated solely to the military’s policy on gays.

The Chair of the House Armed Services, Ike Skelton (D-MO), is opposed to repealing DADT. Republicans on the committee have already written a letter hinting that the administration is trying to sway the testimony of the military:

“We strongly urge that no impediments be placed or erected to forestall that appearance or inhibit their testimony,” a group of Republicans, led by Rep. Buck McKeon of California, wrote Gates and Mullen in a letter obtained by The Associated Press. Similar letters were sent to each of the service chiefs.

In the real world, the repeal of DADT has become a no-brainer. It’s expected. Even the Cheneys are on board. But, Capitol Hill is not the real world. This is one promise upon which the President will be judged.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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